The Maus is unusual in the super heavy range of tanks as it did get built and if you believe some used in combat at a training school overrun by Soviet Forces. Here Zvezda has tackled the Maus in 1/72nd scale. The model arrives in a flip top cardboard tray with an end opening card sleeve with all of the artwork on it. The plastic is packed in a sealed bag and in this case all looks good. The model is classed as a snap fit kit, but I would always say use glue.
Looking over the parts on the sprues I do see a number of flow lines in the plastic and ejector pin marks present. On the plus side the flow marks have not affected the finish of the plastic parts and the ejector pin marks are in hidden areas. I was also pleased to see good access to the model parts and small gates between parts and sprue.
The model has some good points but must be considered as aimed at the intermediate modeller rather than those that want all of the bells and whistles. To clarify this there are no metal barrels or photo etched parts in this release, but don’t let that mean you dismiss the model out of hand as it has some pleasing touches as well.
The turret is a very boxy structure as it should be on this vehicle. Interesting touches here are that Zvezda has provided supports inside the turret to help the modeller get the correct angles of the armoured plates where supplied as flat mouldings. The main gun has been provided with the ability to pivot which is appreciated by some. I will say that despite being 1/72nd scale I would have liked to see the barrel opened at the muzzle.
The suspension units have been tackled in a way to provide both a robust construction that is easy to correctly place and handle. The ground wheels once assembled result in a one piece sub assembly that is added to the model which looks accurate and has good attachment to the model. The tracks have very nice detail on them but are attached in an unusual manner more akin to resin offerings. The tracks will need to be heated in order to bend around the drive and idler wheels with a shorter run to finish the top run. Once the track side armour is added very little of this area can be seen.
The upper hull is the only area that has detail and a lot of this is moulded as part of the whole. Items such as lights and exhausts are added but areas such as the grills are moulded for the most part. With that said the detail of the moulded areas is reasonable and should be acceptable to most. The shell splash guards are added during assembly and if they worked as intended should have made some impressive fireworks as shells were deflected into the air. One thing I was not so keen on is that all of the crew hatches are moulded and so closed.
When it comes to finishing the model there is a single unidentified vehicle provided with a three colour camouflage pattern. The decals look acceptable with a mouse decal being the only aspect of note.
This offering from Zvezda I feel best fits the modeller who wants one of these in 1/72nd scale that will not overly tax them where construction is concerned. Placed into a line up of heavy German armour its size will impress and detail looks generally accurate to me. The tracks provided are an unusual chose and I would have liked to see the crew hatches with the option of being finished open so that a figure could be added to indicate scale.